RUNDU – The construction of a N$110-million abattoir at Rundu is expected to commence soon after extra land was acquired for the much-awaited project.
After intervention by the ministry of agriculture, the Rundu Town Council has availed a piece of land bordering the current site, therefore, allowing more space for the abattoir.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, on Wednesday last week, the ministry has managed to acquire the land to the immediate east of the old abattoir, which was needed to expand the current plot. He said the town council had initially allocated the plot to a certain individual, who was still to pay for it. “After the groundbreaking we have been in negotiation with the town council and eventually towards the end of last month we came into an agreement that the town council will give the land to us and the person who was previously given the plot will be given another plot by the council and that was successful. So, the ministry through the Directorate of Veterinary Services will buy the erf and make it part of the abattoir, for the abattoir to have enough space,” Mutorwa elaborated.
Concerning the tender itself, New Era has discovered that on the 12th of this month, the Tender Board of Namibia awarded the tender for the construction of the Rundu abattoir to a foreign contractor, Chong Mein Construction, who in joint venture with a local contractor, Paladium Investment, will construct the abattoir for N$110.8 million.
“From the side of the ministry, everything is going well and there is progress. And for us as a ministry this is one of the very important projects and we want the work to start as per agreement for the work to move fast and I am glad that the tender was awarded and I want the contractors to move as fast as they can for work to start,” Mutorwa has said.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the abattoir took place last year on July 10, at the old abattoir in Rundu that has been demolished to make way for the new multi-million-dollar meat processing plant that will be equipped with modern cold-storage and meat-processing facilities.
At the time of the groundbreaking last year, Mutorwa said improving the potential of the abattoir in Rundu to slaughter approximately 40 cattle or 80 sheep/goats per day “will positively impact on the local, regional as well as the national economy”.
The project forms a major part of the national programme that aims to enhance the cattle and beef value chain in the northern communal areas (NCAs), specifically in Kavango East and Kavango West, as well as focus on the establishment of SME markets, and using some of the output of the cold storage facilities for conversion into a variety of raw and processed meat products, as well as for fish, fruit and vegetables, depending on the production and demand in the regions.
During the groundbreaking ceremony last year, it was revealed the abattoir project would take 15 months to complete.